Two bright and warmish days this week have finally brought that feeling of spring, and although river anglers have had to stay at home – both coarse and game fish are out of season – still-water fishermen have been out in increasing numbers.

At Staveley Lakes, Tom Pawson reported a good early fish in the low doubles. Richard Wright also had a red-letter day, right at the end of the season, on our Swale fishery at Topcliffe. He said: “If I’d known how high the water was after the rain, I wouldn't have bothered travelling from Richmond. The river was full, mucky brown and going like the clappers, with tree branches and trunks floating down the middle. Still I decided to give it a couple of hours, dropping into slacks and eddies below half-submerged willows.

"In the second swim – a rod’s length out – I had a chub of 5lb 12oz. Two more swims later, another chub at 5lb 8oz. I couldn't get any further down the main river, so I dropped into Cod Beck with two more good chub of 5lb 8oz and 4lb 8oz to the net. Then on the way back to the car, I decided on another 15 minutes and dropped into a couple more eddies. What I thought was a snag on a heavy submerged branch turned out to be my best barbel of 10lb 8oz. All the fish were very deep-bodied and in good condition – and I nearly didn’t bother!”

Fly-fishing members Francis Dine and Steve Rhodes took an early-season trip to Colne Water AC’s Laneshaw Reservoir. BCAA members can access a heavily subsidised day-permit fly-fishing arrangement there. Ten good rainbows and a brownie came to their nets.

Meanwhile, more fencing has gone up at Buckden on the Wharfe and we have also planted many trees on bank sides behind new sheep-fencing. The otter fence erected at Oakworth in 2016 has stood up well to the bad weather, and the ponds look in good shape. At the Inghey bridge entrance to our Broughton fishery, the farmer has placed barbed wire on the gate and fence to stop people walking their dogs – and worrying sheep – on his land. Anglers can therefore no longer climb over the gate and will need a key for the padlock in order to access the fishing. Keys can be had from our online shop via the link on the front page of the BCAA website at Please also give the pair of nesting swans on the left bank, upstream of the road bridge, a wide berth.

On Wednesday, the Environment Agency published feedback on their recent consultation to vastly increase the charges to permit habitat-improvement works. First readings suggest that the many objections from anglers, fishing clubs and other environmental-improvement agencies nationally have been taken on board. However, it is disappointing just how many local fishing clubs failed to make any response.

The rivers, at a good height, look decent for the start of the trout season on Sunday. The water has cleared following the snowmelt, though anglers will find plenty of changes to the river bed after the floods and work by the club to diversify flows.

Riverfly monitoring surveys on Monday reported fish rising to mid-sized olives around lunchtime, and flies hatching out in the sampling tray. Counts of invertebrates showed predominantly heptagenids and olives.

The West Yorkshire branch of the Salmon & Trout Conservation UK organisation are looking for donations of used fishing tackle for sale at the Great Yorkshire Show in June to raise money for local conservation improvement projects. Contact Jim Munden on 07940-814431 if you have tackle you don’t want.

Match anglers note that John Stark has taken over as match secretary from Rodney Brooksbank. The next match is tomorrow at Staveley Lakes. Please contact John on 07793-558227 if you have any enquiries or entries.


Dave Kitchingman dominated the presentation evening at the New Inn. He took the year-long Yeco Points Trophy with 45, ahead of Rick Bulliment (36) and Rob Wadsworth (30), plus the Martin O'Donnell Species Trophy (23 in Irish waters), the Carter Cup for best specimen on any trip (5lb15oz wrass), the Clarkson Cup for most points in the year (309) and the Clayton Tray for best specimen on a day trip (10lb 9oz pollock).

Peter Higgins won the International Trophy for the heaviest fish in foreign waters (124lb porbeagle shark), while Terry Gledhill picked up the Hill Trophy for the best specimen where the record is less than 10lb (1lb 5oz John Dory). Richard Spence was a winner twice – for the best cod out of Whitby (8lb) and the Ken Boys Memorial Trophy for the heaviest fish in home waters (ling of 12lb 8oz).

Brian Clarkson also picked up two trophies – the Conger Tankard for the biggest conger (3lb) and the Park Trophy for the the heaviest fish caught where the main line is less than 30lb (a tope of 35lb on a 28lb main line). Dave Wardman won the Harry Kitchingman Memorial Shield with a tope of 41lb.

Rick Bulliment won the Jim Conner Memorial Cup for the best specimen caught in Scottish waters, while Stuart Lambert took the Bob Lawson Memorial Cup for the biggest cod on a club trip (10lb), and Paul Kitchingman the President's Plate for Clubman of the Year (members' vote).


The trout season on rivers opens this Sunday, with trout and mixed fishery stretches being open to anglers fishing fly, minnow, worm or artificial lure. A full list of which waters are open can be found in the yearbook. Raskelf Lake will be closed on Sunday for the final round of the winter series (draw 9am at the Black Bull). Ian Bradley leads the series with 82 points, one point ahead of Stuart Tate and five in front of Bill Scott.


There is a work party on Sunday at Coppice Pond (10am). Rivers reopen on Sunday for trout fishing, but bait restrictions apply (see yearbook). The Aire Rivers Trust are organising clean ups on the river, with the next one being tomorrow at Charlestown in Baildon (meet at bridge over the river at 10am).


The club's annual meeting is next Thursday at The Fleece Inn, Cullingworth (8pm). A free pie-and-pea supper is available for members.


THE severe weather once more took its toll on angling events and very few anglers braved the elements over the weekend.

The result of the Tuesday 13 March match at Kippax Park was: 1 B Rymer 59lb 7oz, 2 A Rymer 46lb 1oz, 3 P Carter 45lb 5oz.

The Wednesday match at Moor Monkton Pools finished: 1 R Worsnop 70lb 7oz, 2 A Gallant 33lb 6oz 3 G Wright 31lb.

The trout season opens on Sunday. The state of the rivers is unknown as of yet but it is hoped that levels will be suitable for anglers to participate.

Anglers are reminded to ensure that they have got their environment agency rod licence up to date, as it now runs for 12 months from the date purchased.

Also, the only permitted baits allowed on rivers are fly, worm and artificials.

Consult the membership book for the venues which are open.

The meeting on March 29 is to present the annual finances of the society. Admittance is on production of membership book.


The trout season starts on March 25. Members are asked to return all trout irrespective of their size. Any coarse fish which are caught must be returned immediately.

Keep nets are not allowed on rivers until June 16. There is no restriction on still waters or on the canal.